Embraced  by  Truth . . .
                                    reflections on theology and life

Theology > Jesus > Resurrection and Ascension > Act of God


This Jesus
God has raised up
of which we are all witnesses.
Acts 2:32

The Resurrection of Christ was the work of God, a fact which Peter affirmed on the day of Pentecost, and a fact also affirmed by others in the book of Acts.

Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands and put to death; whom God raised up having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it (Acts 2:24-23);

But you denied the Holy One . . . and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses (Acts 3:14-15);

Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead (Acts 4:10);

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree . . . and we are witnesses to these things (Acts 5:30, 32);

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth . . . whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day (Acts 10:38-40);

They took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead (Acts 13:29-30);

God has fulfilled this for us  their children, in that He has raised up Jesus (Acts 13:33);

He raised Him from the dead (Acts 13:34; see v. 37);

He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:31).

Repeatedly it is attested that the resurrection of Christ was the act of God. To speak of God is to speak of the Godhead, and the Scriptures, directly or indirectly, associate each person of the Godhead with the resurrection of Christ.

God the Father: “God raised Him from the dead” (Acts 13:30).

God the Son: “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (Jo. 10:17-18).

God the Spirit: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).

But how did God raise Him from the dead? What actually happened on the morning of the resurrection? How did it occur? If one could have been in the tomb, what would have been seen?

One possibility is as follows: Christ opened His eyes, moved, begin to stretch, and slowly extricated Himself from the grave clothes, stood up, and exited the tomb through the door opened by the angel.

Another possibility is the following: Christ is asleep in death and suddenly He disappears; one moment He is there, and the next moment He is gone. The stone at the entrance, therefore, was rolled back so that the women and disciples could look in, not to allow Christ to walk out. If He does not disappear, then one moment he is asleep in death and the next moment He is standing up alive and then exits the tomb.

Of these two scenarios, which more correctly depicts the actual resurrection? It seems that the evidence supports the fact that  one moment the body of Jesus was lying on the slab in the tomb and the next moment it was gone, or immediately He went from lying to standing! The idea that Jesus opened His eyes, stretched, and slowly got up and walked out is incorrect and does not conform to the Text.

The key is the description of what Peter saw when he looked in: “he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself” (Jo. 20:6). Within the burial wrap were placed numerous herbs and spices which would have caused the wrap to collapse when Jesus disappeared instantly from beneath and within the wrap. This explains the description of “the linen cloths lying there”—they were not disturbed or unwrapped, just collapsed and lying. This fact itself suggests a supernatural act, an act of resurrection, an act of God. The handkerchief was folded and placed “by itself” either by the Lord Himself or by the angel who removed the stone.

Return to: Resurrection and Ascension; Next Article: Personal Appearances

For overview of THEOLOGY, see: Site Map - Theology
Copyright © Embraced by Truth
All rights reserved.
Materials may be freely copied for personal and academic use;
appropriate reference must be made to this site.
Links are invited.